Worcester Library & History Centre

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Worcester Library & History Centre
Worcester Library and History Centre On a riverside site in Worcester city centre, this will be a highly sustainable 11,000m2 building with a unique three dimensional form. The Worcester Library and History Centre provides an integrated academic and public library, the first purpose designed joint-use facility in the UK which will serve both the University of Worcester and the general public. The mixed-use development includes a county archive, a local history centre and a local authority ‘hub’ providing frontline services for local residents. The scheme also provides a hotel, retail space and high quality public realm offering accessible routes connecting key levels in the city centre. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with Galliford Try Investments were selected following a competitive dialogue process which started in early 2007. The building which will be delivered via a Design and Build contract, is due for completion in 2011. The design demonstrates an ability to integrate a wide variety of public services within a single building and to provide an excellent environment for both service users and staff. The scheme has evolved through extensive stakeholder engagement, creating a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. The form and technology meet the client’s aspirations for a highly sustainable and iconic building which makes maximum use of current technologies and facilitates the integration of new systems as they emerge. The building responds to the scale and grain of the city, celebrating its rich history without resorting to pastiche. The brief required a unique and innovative landmark building which draws on the heritage and history of Worcester and Worcestershire.The gold shingled form draws inspiration from both the historic kilns of the Royal Worcester works and the undulating ridgeline of the Malvern Hills which is visible from within the library. The holistic approach to sustainability has created the possibility that the building could achieve an Outstanding BREEAM score. We have built on the approach to deep-plan, naturally lit and ventilated buildings which we developed at the multi award-winning New Central Office for the National Trust, the Runnymede Civic Offices and the Woodland Trust headquarters. The structure incorporates solid laminated timber roof cones, the forms of which have been generated using state of the art computer modelling to optimise day lighting and natural ventilation throughout the building whilst minimising structure. Water from the nearby River Severn is used to provide cooling, with heating provided by a biomass boiler using locally sourced woodchip. The building is designed to facilitate the incorporation of biomass CHP when the technology becomes viable. The scale of the intervention combined with the sensitivity of the context and proximity to the City Wall, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, has required careful negotiation with English Heritage who have given the scheme their support. The public areas of the building are designed as a contiguous volume arranged over 5 floors which are connected via a series of atria. A variety of environments are provided within the open plan areas, from lively social learning and youth spaces where conversation and coffee are welcomed to silent reading areas. All areas are wirelessly enabled and the range of study settings should allow every user to find a space that they are comfortable with. The landscape, designed by Grant Associates, includes a wetland basin to the west of the Library which is designed to accommodate the regular flooding which is inevitable in the red flood zone of the River Severn. Another set of challenges is presented by the incorporation of the county archive which requires highly specific environmental conditions and design ingenuity to safeguard the archive in what is a fairly vulnerable location of the site on the edge of the 100 year flood zone.


13 photos and 3 drawings

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov added a digital reference, updated 10 media, updated and uploaded 6 media
    The Hive The Hive The Hive The Hive The Hive The Hive
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
    JOHN SMITH commented
    Built in the wrong place looks allthough
    about 7 years ago via iPhone